Tasty Little Duck Hearts !

I know I am a bit late but never mind! This recipe was born as I was contemplating what might make a romantic meal for Valentines day…the usual things sprung to mind: oysters, fillet steak, lobster, caviar, champagne. All of which seemed somewhat clichéd and also expensive!

It occurred to me that duck hearts, (popular here in the land of all things duck), might be fun, if a little cannibalistic on a day meant for cuddly fluffy things. But once the idea presented itself to me, I could not escape it.

I know many of you will automatically recoil at the idea of eating hearts, but I must tell you that duck hearts are surprisingly delicious! They do not taste particularly offaly, but rather more just like meaty little ducky chunks.

Typically they are served cooked in plenty of garlic and parsley, sometimes grilled on a skewer – ‘a la brochette’. They are inexpensive, I was able to buy a little bag containing 8 good sized hearts, plenty for two people, for under two Euros.

I wanted to make something that had the elegance that a Valentines dish demands whilst using what is in effect, a rustic and modest ingredient. So, in keeping with the Gascon approach, I pan fried the hearts with garlic and parsley and nestled them gently atop a bed of creamy soft parmesan risotto.

I was very happy with the results! Not only did they look pretty darn good, the whole thing tasted wonderful and sumptuous. And to top it all off, unbelievably, my five year old daughter tried it and loved it and is now requesting duck hearts for dinner daily. (Meanwhile my three your old stomps around demanding Foie Gras!) Clearly my children are happily Gersois at heart!

Ducks Hearts with Garlic & Parsley & Parmesan Risotto

(Serves 2)

1 onion, finely chopped
25g butter
1 clove of garlic, minced
4 handfuls of risotto rice (I had no scales so measured by hand!)
1 litre chicken stock
150g grated Parmesan
1 tbsp olive oil
250g duck hearts
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
large handful of chopped flat leaf parsely

Start by getting your risotto on. I took no photos of the making of this as I figured you all know how! Melt your butter in a pan and add the onion and sweat it gently for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Throw in your risotto rice and coat with the butter and let it heat through for a minute of two. Then start adding ladles of your hot chicken stock, stirring and letting each addition of stock bubble and soak into the rice before adding more until all the stock is added.

raw duck hearts

Meanwhile, prepare your duck hearts by trimming off and fatty bits. Slice each heart in half lengthways.

sliced duck hearts

When your risotto is almost ready with just a ladle of stock to add, you can cook your hearts as they don’t take very long. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until nice and hot and then throw in the hearts. Let them cook and get some colour for 3 minutes each side. Then throw in the garlic and the parsely and toss the whole lot around for another 2 minutes, being careful not to let the garlic burn.

Duck hearts with garlic & parsley

To finish your risotto, add the grated parmesan and season and let it sit, off the heat for a couple of minutes to relax. Serve the duck hearts nestled on a bed of the risotto.

Duck Hearts with garlic & parsley on parmesan risotto

I am entering this recipe into a few blogging challenges. Firstly, the Cheese Please! Challenge hosted by Fromage Homage where the theme this month is Cheesy Romance so my risotto element fits the bill.

Fromage Homage

Secondly, the Cooking With Herbs Challenge as hosted by Karen over at Lavender & Lovage as this recipe uses lots of lovely fresh parsley.

Cooking with Herbs

Also, the Family Foodies Challenge where the theme this month is Love. Hosted alternate months by Louisa from Eat Your Veg and Vanesther from Bangers & Mash. Against all the odds, this was a recipe my daughter LOVED!!

Family Foodies Logo

And as duck hearts are so surprisingly affordable, I am also entering this into Credit Crunch Munch hosted this month by Angela from My Golden Pear who is holding the fort for Camilla (Fab Food For All) and Helen (Fuss Free Flavours).

Credit Crunch Munch

And last but not least, my very own Four Seasons Food Challenge where the theme is Food from the Heart. I am hosting this month but next month it will be Louisa from Eat Your Veg.

Four Seasons Food Winter

28 thoughts on “Tasty Little Duck Hearts !”

    1. Thanks Angela, Nice to meet you :) I do feel lucky being able to lay my hands on these kind of quality ingredients with ease. Good thing I LOVE duck eh! Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Yes I was very happy to discover how cheap duck hearts are! My daughter can have them for dinner as often as she likes for that price – and be well fed with lots of nutrients too. Not too bad at all ! x

  1. ‘Meaty little ducky chunks’ – love it! This sounds delicious – and looks very sophisticated. And no doubt packed with iron or somesuch so great that your little ones like it. And what could be more romantic than hearts? ;) Thanks for sharing this with February’s Cheese, Please!

  2. I love the look of your duck hearts. I’ve been meaning to try heart for a long time now, but never quite got round to it. I think duck’s hearts might be a very good place to start, and if I can persuade my children too to eat them, then so much the better…

    1. Excellent Vanesther! I am delighted to hear you might try some hearts soon – I wonder how easy they are to source in the UK though? They are worth it though if you can find them…and yes, duck hearts are small and tasty and I think they would be a not too scary way to start experimenting with heart before you move onto the bigger types. Let me know if you find some xx

    1. Ha ha!! I would happily prepare them for you Fran but they are so easy – I know you would be fine once you got stuck in! And they are well worth the initial squeamishness. x

  3. Looks delicious and although I’ve never tried ducks hearts definitely agree that if we’re eating meat there’s no point being squeamish about hearts – why waste anything, especially something that’s probably very nutritious.

    1. Absolutely Andrea – the don’t waste anything policy here of eating all the bits of a duck is a very good one! These hearts and also ‘gesiers’ are really too tasty to miss out on! x

  4. I’ve never tried duck hearts but I’m betting they’re a tasty wee morsel, especially on a fabulous risotto like this. What a delightful idea!. And a mighty fine entry to this month’s Four Seasons ‘Food from the Heart’ challenge.

    1. Oops, meant to also say a very tasty entry to Family Foodies ‘Love’ event too. That’s amazing that you got Kara to try and like duck hearts, well done you!

  5. I had some heart before leaving France… can’t remember which animal, not duck though. I think this definitely sounds and looks more appetizing, since I wasn’t a huge fan of the other heart I tried.

    Clichéed or not, I’d have loved some fillet steak on Valentine’s Day… some genius decided to cook chuck steak and serve it as a steak in the restaurant I went to. Seared briefly on both sides… was like eating a car tyre with a mass of hard fat in the middle… bleurgh!
    (did I tell you that story already? Seems I’ve told everyone I know because it was so nasty… apologies if I have).

    1. No, the story is new to me and made me laugh :) Car tyre for Valentines Day does not sound good I must say. Chuck steak as steak is certainly ill advised! x

  6. What a pretty looking dish plated with the risotto. I don’t believe that I’ve seen duck or even chicken hearts at the markets here. I had a salad in Strasbourg with duck hearts, livers and gizzards that I enjoyed.

    1. Wow – a salad with all those interesting bits, I would love that! They have so much flavour. Keep searching out duck hearts – they are a treat! x

  7. NOT a huge lover of offal, but Malcolm is, so he would love me to make this for him Anneli! And, it is a FAB entry for cooking with herbs too! THANKS! Karen

    1. I know you are not a big fan of offal. But these do not have that ripe taste…they just taste deeply of duck. But you could always just have the risotto and let Malcolm scoff all the hearts. x

  8. “Meanwhile, prepare your duck hearts by trimming off and fatty bits.”

    Ok. What’s the missing word or words? I give up!

  9. This tasted so delicious, Anneli, thank you!
    Simple ingredients and easy to make. Super cheap too – local organic free-range duck hearts cost less than £1 from farmers’ market.

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